Around the World: April 9, 2015

Here's what's happening across the United States and around the world today.

NEW: Shots fired in Milan courthouse, 2 reported hit

MILAN (AP) — Italy's ANSA news agency reports that a man has opened fire in Milan's courthouse and at least two persons are believed to have been hit. There was no word on their condition.

ANSA quoted the president of the appeals court, Giovanni Canzio, as saying there was more than one victim. The building has been evacuated.

The shooter is believed to still be on the loose.

Hail, high winds, tornadoes possible for Midwest on Thursday

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Strong storms in the Southern Plains overnight are offering a preview of bad weather expected in major cities across the Midwest later in the day.

The Storm Prediction Center says 57 million people live in an area with an "enhanced risk" of large hail, damaging winds and possibly tornadoes this afternoon and evening. A handful of tornadoes were reported Wednesday, but mostly in rural areas of Kansas and Oklahoma, where the storms caused minimal damage.

Emergency managers and forecasters urged residents to know what to do if bad weather approached, including where to take shelter.

Thursday's worst weather was expected from the Chicago and Detroit areas southwestward to near Dallas.

Charleston mayor orders police body cameras

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The mayor of North Charleston, South Carolina says he's ordering 150 more body cameras so that every uniformed police officer on the street will wear one.

This, after a city police officer was charged with murder and fired for Saturday's fatal shooting of motorist Walter Scott.

Video taken by a witness shows Scott running away from the officer, who fired several shots into Scott's back.

Penalty phase to begin soon in Boston bombing trial

BOSTON (AP) — Now that a jury has convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) on all charges, the penalty phase will begin.

Tsarnaev was found guilty Wednesday of 30 counts against him, including conspiracy and deadly use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Seventeen of those charges are punishable by death. Jurors could start hearing evidence on Monday.

Jury to resume deliberations in Aaron Hernandez murder trial

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Twelve jurors working to decide whether to convict former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez in the death of another man are set to resume deliberations.

The jurors spent nine hours deliberating on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hernandez is charged with the June 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd, who was dating his fiancée's sister. Lloyd was shot six times in an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez's home.

On Wednesday, jurors asked questions to clarify two weapon and ammunition possession charges Hernandez faces in addition to the murder charge.

Jurors must deliberate every day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and may go later if they wish.

Iran's Rouhani wants sanctions lifted right after nuke deal

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's president says Tehran will not sign on to a final nuclear deal with world powers unless economic sanctions are lifted immediately after doing so.

Hassan Rouhani spoke today during a ceremony marking Iran's nuclear technology day, which celebrates the country's nuclear achievements.

Iran and six world powers reached a framework agreement last week aimed at keeping Tehran from being able to develop a nuclear weapon.

The deal is to be finalized by the end of June.

NEW: Iran's Rouhani: Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen a 'mistake'

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's president has warned Saudi Arabia and its allies that their airstrikes' campaign in Yemen is a "mistake" and called for a halt to the strikes.

Hassan Rouhani says such campaigns are "wrong" and cited examples of Syria and Iraq.

He did not single out any country in particular but said, "You learned that it was wrong. You will learn, not later but soon, that you are making mistake in Yemen, too."

He also called for a ceasefire in Yemen to allow for a ceasefire and broad-based talks on resolving the crisis.

For two weeks now, a campaign by a Saudi-led coalition has tried to stop a power grab by Iranian-backed Shiite rebels who have seized much of the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.

Tehran and the rebels deny that Iran is arming them.

French network's channels hacked by group claiming IS ties

PARIS (AP) — A French television network has been hacked by people claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group.

The hackers briefly cut transmission of 11 channels belonging to TV5 Monde and took over its websites and social media accounts. The channel's director, Yves Bigot, said Thursday morning the attack was continuing. He told RTL radio that the network has restored its signal but can only broadcast recorded programs.

The message on the TV5 Monde website read in part "I am IS" with a banner by a group that called itself Cybercaliphate.

The Islamic extremist group has claimed complex hackings before, but the seizure of the French network appeared to be a new step in its information warfare tactics.

Amnesty says Ukraine rebels executed government soldiers

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Amnesty International says it has evidence that Russian-backed separatists in east Ukraine executed several captured government soldiers in gross violation of international humanitarian law.

Amnesty says footage viewed by the group shows at least four Ukrainian soldiers now confirmed dead being interrogated by rebel militia. It says pictures showing bullet wounds to the soldier's heads and bodies appeared to show they had died as the result of execution-style killings.

Hundreds of Ukrainian troops are believed to have been captured by rebel forces over the course of a year-long war that has claimed more than 6,000 lives.

Both sides accuse one another of mistreating captives. Under a February peace agreement, all prisoners had been due for release in early March, but little progress has been achieved.


NEW: 8 dead, 25 hurt in Philippine troops' clash with Abu Sayyaf

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Officials say Philippine troops, backed by attack helicopters and artillery fire, battled with at least 250 Abu Sayyaf militants in the country's restive south, leaving two soldiers and six militants dead.

A military spokesman says heavy fighting in Sulu province wounded 15 soldiers and 10 rebels.

Convicted killer of Dallas-area police officer set to die

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A Texas prisoner on death row for the fatal shooting of a Dallas-area police officer outside a convenience store is headed for execution.

No last-day appeals were in the courts to try to keep 42-year-old Kent Sprouse from lethal injection this evening in Huntsville.

The U.S. Supreme Court in November refused to review his case.

Medical tests showed the Boone County, Missouri, native had taken illegal drugs within 48 hours of the October 2002 shootings of Ferris Police Officer Marty Steinfeldt. The 28-year-old patrolman came under fire as he responded to a 911 call to a shooting outside the Ferris Food Mart, about 20 miles south of Dallas.

Sprouse also was charged but not tried for 38-year-old Pedro Moreno's death. He was nearby pumping gas when he was fatally shot.

2 women to be sentenced in slaying of Mississippi black man

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Two young white women, part of a group who repeatedly searched Mississippi's capital city for black people to attack, are scheduled to be sentenced today.

In separate hearings, a federal judge will sentence Sarah Adelia Graves and Shelbie Brooke Richards. Graves pleaded guilty in December to a conspiracy count and faces up to five years in prison. Richards, who pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy and concealing the crime by lying to police, faces eight years in prison.

Both women were riding in a truck that ran over James Craig Anderson in June 2011. Anderson died after he was beaten and run over.

Six white men, sentenced earlier by a different judge, received prison terms from four years to 50 years. Two more men await sentencing.

US woman accused of trying to join IS group is due in court

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia woman arrested on charges she tried to join and martyr herself for the Islamic State group is due in court for a detention hearing.

A judge is to decide today if 30-year-old Keonna Thomas must remain jailed or be freed on bail pending a trial.

Thomas has been in custody since her arrest last Friday, the day after two women in New York were charged with plotting a Boston Marathon-type attack.

Prosecutors say Thomas was preparing to fly to Spain with hopes of reaching Syria to fight with the terror group.

She was arrested at her family's town house in a public housing development. Three small U.S. flags adorned the porch.

Prosecutors say Thomas also goes by Fatayat Al Khilafah and YoungLioness.

They oppose giving her bail.

NEW: VA makes little headway in fight to shorten waits for care

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Government data reviewed by The Associated Press shows that the number of patients facing long waits at Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics has not been dropping, despite reforms and a funding boost last summer.

Nearly 900,000 medical appointments completed at about 1,000 VA facilities from August to February failed to meet the health system's timeliness goal, which calls for patients to be seen within 30 days.

A closer look reveals deep geographic disparities.

Many of those delays are clustered in a handful of Southern states.

VA officials cite numerous efforts to ramp up capacity. They include building new health centers and adding 8,000 employees since April.

Deputy VA Secretary Sloan Gibson acknowledged that the agency has been slow to adjust in places where there is rising demand

That's what's happening. Read more stories to jump start your day in our special Breakfast Buzz section.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us